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Styes and Chalazia

A stye is an acute infection in the oil glands of the lid. Sometimes bacteria (most often staph) swim upstream into the oil gland and cause an infection. While it's not exactly correct, it helps to think of the source of the infection as the root of the eye lash.

The best thing for a stye is a hot compress. Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your lids for 5 minutes, four times a day. Within a few days the infection will either die down or come to a head and drain.

I haven't found that antibiotic drops, ointments, or pills help, because this oil gland is pretty isolated.

An infection in another kind of oil gland (meibobian gland) of the lid is called a chalazian. This causes a bump in the lid which may be tender at first. Hot packs are the best treatment for these infections, also. However, if the bump fails to go away in a month it may be necessary to drain it. This is done in your Ophthalmologist's office.

Frequently these conditions tend to recur. To prevent these from recurring it is important to keep your lids and lashes clean. Remove all mascara before going to bed, soak and clean your lid margin carefully each morning on arising.